If you average about 7-9 hours of sleep per night, your sleep habits are probably already in good shape. However, new research says that you might still benefit from fine tuning your sleep schedule.
A study conducted by Penn State researchers and presented at the American Heart Association EPI/Lifestyle 2015 meeting suggests that the consistency of your sleep schedule, in addition to the average number of hours you sleep per night, may influence eating habits.
The study, which examined teenagers’ sleep and dietary habits, found that participants averaged 7 hours of sleep a night. However, teens with irregular sleeping patterns (for example, getting too little sleep one night and sleeping in the next night), ate more calories and were more likely to snack than teens with regular sleeping patterns.
In fact, participants consumed 210 additional calories (think a small slice of pizza or a candy bar) for every hour of difference in sleep night-to-night. Over time these differences could add up—check out the example sleep schedules below to see how.
Thanksgivingand the winter holidays often mean family, friends, and plenty of food. Because holiday treats aren’t exactly known for their nutritional value, it can be tricky to maintain a healthy diet. Here are some tips to help you navigate your next holiday gathering:
Eat a healthy snack (try our yogurt parfait or trail mix) before a big meal or get-together. This can reduce the chance that you’ll overeat.
Take time to savor your food. Eat slowly so you can enjoy the flavors of your holiday favorites.
Give yourself time to re-assess your hunger before going back for seconds. Catch up with relatives or watch a favorite movie to stay occupied.
Quench your thirst with water (refreshing AND zero calorie) instead of beverages like cider or punch.
If you do overindulge, don’t despair! Move on and resolve to do better at the next gathering.
It’s nutritious— a healthy breakfast contributes important vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to your diet.
Breakfast fuels your body with energy to keep you going through tough workouts.
It’s brain food. A morning meal helps you concentrate and focus in class.
Research suggests that students who eat breakfast perform better academically than students who don’t.1
Try these quick and easy ideas:
Instant oatmeal topped with almonds
Half a whole-wheat bagel with peanut butter
Low-fat yogurt with fruit—watch HealthWorks show you how to make a delicious yogurt parfait.
Trockel MT, Barnes MD, Egget DL. Health related variables and academic performance among first-year college students: implications for sleep and other behaviors. J Am Coll Health. 2000 Nov;49(3):125-31.
Got 3 minutes to spare? We’re interested in getting your feedback about the recent #PSUplate contest and campaign. Your thoughts about #PSUplate are important to us and will help us to develop health campaigns for students in the future.
Click here to complete a short survey about the campaign. It should take you less than 5 minutes to complete. Your answers will be recorded anonymously.
What’s on your plate? We’re looking for students who make half their meal fruits and veggies in our new campaign. Just take a photo of your meal and upload it to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, using the hashtag #psuplate.
We’ll scour the interwebs every day for entries, and once a week, we’ll randomly draw a winner! Feel free to post as many times as you like. We’ll be choosing a winner every Friday from Sept. 20, 2013 until Oct. 11, 2014.
If we pick you, we’ll send you a short notification back to verify that you’re a Penn State student and invite you to email us to schedule a time to pick up your prize.
So why are we doing this? In a recent study, Penn State students were shown to be consuming less than the daily recommended amount of fruits and vegetables.
So how can you increase your intake?
Add a side salad to your meal
Fill your plate with half vegetables before adding any other food
Grab a piece of fruit on your way out of the dining commons
How are you getting your recommended daily amount of fruits and vegetables? Do you have a great recipe or tip you’d like to share? Leave it below!